Friday, July 31, 2015
Self awareness is not about looking deeply within your internal chamber of secrets and trying to discover "your true self."
Rather, it is an open, honest, candid, and on-going self observation of what drives you to take the actions you take, to think the thoughts you think, and to feel the emotions that bubble up inside you.
People with high levels of self awareness have a clear and definite grasp of their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as an elevated sensitivity to observe what motivates, de-motivates, satisfies, delights, annoys, and angers them.
With a solid sense of self awareness you multiply your predisposition to go after the opportunities that are right for you -- by leveraging your strengths, values, and inner motivations. Likewise, you are also better positioned to minimize your chances of pursuing activities that are likely to have unsatisfying or potentially harmful results.
Here are some quotes from our book Project You: Words of Wisdom that might help you create such a solid sense of self awareness:
Knowing others is wisdom; knowing self is enlightenment. Tao Te Ching
Total, unconditional acceptance of yourself is the first step in building a positive self-image. Nido Qubein
Others can give you a name or a number, but they can never tell you who you really are. That is something you yourself can only discover from within. Thomas Menton, No Man an Island
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. Aristotle
You are searching the world for treasure but the real treasure is yourself. Rumi
When you know yourself you are empowered. When you accept yourself you are invincible. Tina Lifford
Finally, as Robertson Davies, one of Canada's most distinguished men of letters, wrote, "A man must be obedient to the promptings of his innermost heart." The first step, of course, is to have a clear awareness of what reverberates in your innermost heart.
Likewise, as we quoted American actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein in the previous post Knowing Yourself / Defining Yourself, "accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself."
Doing both of these puts you squarely on the path to Living A Determined Life.
This article is partially excerpted from Project You: Words of Wisdom, available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Life is about creating yourself
As you continue on your life's journey it is critical, as American actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein wrote, to "accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself."
The journey of self awareness and self understanding is a difficult and long one. As we quoted Miguel de Cervantes in the previous post Know Thyself, "Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world."
Difficult, yes. Impossible? Definitely not.
The foundation of your own self definition will be expressed in your own self image. What you project to the world, and to yourself, reflects how well you understand yourself. The better this understanding, the greater will be the satisfactions you feel and experience.
Here are some quotations from our book Project You: Words of Wisdom to help you along this journey of self understanding and knowing one's self:
He who knows others is learned; He who knows himself is wise. Lao-Tzu
He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe. Marcus Aurelius
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Max Ehrman
I am learning to be patient and compassionate with myself as I gain the courage to be true to myself. Shakti Gawain
As you become more clear about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you the first time around. Oprah Winfrey
Again, the better your understanding of yourself the greater will be the satisfactions you feel and experience.
After all, as George Bernard Shaw said, "Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."
That's a philosophy at the heart of Living A Determined Life.
This article is partially excerpted from the book Project You: Words of Wisdom, available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Know Yourself / Define Yourself
Those words, inscribed in gold letters on the temple of Apollo at Delphi, are probably the most important two-word phrase ever written.
Know thyself is a two-step process comprising self awareness and self understanding.
Self awareness is a heightened sense of continuous attention to one's feelings, emotions, and thoughts.
Self understanding is being aware of your thoughts about your feelings, emotions, and thoughts -- and being mindful of the impact these are having on your contemplated, intended, or actual actions.
When combined and integrated, these two steps lead to self definition.
Here are some quotes from our book Project You: Words of Wisdom we hope will help motivate you to better knowing and defining yourself:
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. Buddha
Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your handbrake on. Unknown
Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world. Miguel de Cervantes
We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter. Denis Diderot
The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself. Lao-Tzu
Yes, you need not do anything but be yourself. But first, you have to know and define yourself.
And that will be one of the most fascinating journeys you ever take.
This article is partially excerpted from Project You: Words of Wisdom, available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon.